Quora answers on Minimum Viable Product

Ever since we launched our initiative “Build your MVP”(Registration closed), we have been getting a lot of responses. Majorly from the early stage startup and often we advise them, “Don’t build a Minimum Viable Product”.

There was this enthusiastic client who wanted to build his product(MVP version) with the combined features of Facebook, Twitter and a couple of other networking sites. Dude, seriously? Its a ‘Minimum’ ‘Viable’ ‘Product’ for God’s sake!

I spent some time on, one of the most used Q&A site, Quora trying to know the general opinion about MVPs. I’m sharing some of the good responses here. For the sake of the Pandas, I’m sharing only the screenshots with a short gist and a link to that answer.

 

  • This response from Balaji Viswanathan, co founder of Zingfin who is building his MVP, recommends one to draw a business model canvas and evaluate the assumptions. Balaji, interesting! Looking forward to see your product after you launch it.

 

Draw your business model canvas and see where your key assumptions lie. Then create an MVP that tests many of the key assumptions – including customer segments, customer value proposition and solution.

[tweetherder]Ideally your MVP should validate/invalidate your business model canvas and should help you either pivot or move ahead with your next version[/tweetherder].

 

  • This is the most amazing answer. Tristan Kromer has explained, how should one decide the minimum features for their MVP version, in 5 steps and know what, this would be fun! He says, “[tweetherder]50% of the startups I meet require zero coding for their MVP[/tweetherder]” . Same feeling, mate! I managed my earlier startup, an online classifieds for textbook reselling, with excel sheets.

 

 

….the priorities should be straightforward at this point, build things in the order that the user absolutely positively must do things in your story board and nothing else.

What’s the first thing that will happen in your story? Probably a landing page. Build that first and build only enough for you to learn something. In this case, does the user want the value proposition enough to create an account?

Anything else at that point is useless if you can’t get the user to login. You don’t need a conversion rate of 50%, but you need enough so that you can validate your hypothesis and have enough users passing through step one to have a sample size for step 2.

Most of the time, your first stab at an MVP is going to be the landing page but…

50% of the startups I meet require zero coding for their MVP

Their products could easily be performed manually in a concierge style test to validate their hypotheses on day one without building anything.

[tweetherder]The standard excuses of, “My product has a strong network effect” and “It’s a chicken an egg two sided market” is frankly bullshit[/tweetherder].

 

  • The reason behind our initiative is to force a constrain of a deadline to launch the product and see how it works. We entrepreneurs are awesome at ideating. We come up with¬† new ideas everyday and if you think that your first version is going to be your final version, dude, keep dreaming. Let me catch a bus to real world. Pek, creator of Pinstagram says,

 

 

Many people come to me to build/design them their MVP and more often than not, they are describing a 747 instead of the Wright brothers’ first plane. That’s not an MVP.

1. If I had to pick one thing, it should be focus. It should only do 1 thing and do it really well. When I launched ShelfLuv, a book site, all it allowed you to do was add books to your personal shelf. There was no commenting, liking or anything else. Just a shelf. When Pinstagram launched ….

………basically the MVP is the minimum “thing” (and it doesn’t even have to be functional) that will get you your customer feedback so that you know if you are on the right or wrong path so that you can iterate towards the desired goal.

Check out other interesting responses too. Also, I’d suggest you to read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Finally, when you have a clear picture on what you need and how your MVP is going to be, give us a shout, and let’s do it together!

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